In yesterday’s article I asked if Barcelona could progress into the quarter-finals of the Champions League, despite being 2-0 down from the first leg of their last 16 tie against AC Milan.
Barca answered my question in empathic style last night by beating the Rossoneri 4-0 in the Nou Camp in second leg of their tie.
Can Arsenal make it two big comebacks in a week in the Champions League?
Well, Arsenal face an even more difficult task this evening. The Gunners lost their first leg 3-1 at home to German giant Bayern Munich.
In truth the Bavarians simply outclassed their shell-shocked Premier League opponents.
Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal team have underachieved for the last five years or so. The Frenchman has taken on the role of club accountant, rather than head coach of the Arsenal team in recent years.
As a result of Wenger not being able to manage the team properly the quality of his squad really has slipped. The current team cannot even be compared to the Arsenal invincible’s of season 2003-4.
The quality of that team was unreal. The quality of the current team is questionable. The fact that people now think that a fourth place finish in the Premier League is a successful season for Arsenal shows just how far the mighty have fallen.
Arsenal are a team that are known for their style of football. In recent seasons that style of football has brought Gunners fans nothing but disappointment. No silverware has entered the Gunners trophy cabinet since 2005.
Bayern Munich is an example of a team that plays good, incisive football, while keeping hold of the ball. The Bavarians look like a team that means business in every area of the field.
They don’t only play good exciting football, but they are well organised as well. This is a winning formula if ever there was one.
The problem for Arsenal is that Bayern Munich are the epitome of old fashioned German organisation, even if one of their star centre-backs Dante is Brazilian. The Gunners just don’t have the same level of organisational in their team.
Fans of the Arsenal teams in the late 80’s and early 90’s will find this strange, because that was what Arsenal teams were synonymous for. The Gunners fans became accustomed to winning games 1-0 and winning trophies.
Arsenal assistant boss Steve Bould played a big role in a lot of those one goal wins and should know how to advise Wenger on how to achieve clean sheets. Whether the Frenchman would listen to his assistant is another matter.
The song of ‘1-0 to the Arsenal’ became famous on the terraces of Highbury and away grounds throughout the country. The current Arsenal team simply don’t have the same sort of organisation in their team.
It could be argued that football has moved on and defending is a dying art, but some teams still manage to stay solid at the back and play attacking football. Bayern are one of the teams that have managed to achieve a good balance.
The Gunners have relied far too much on Spanish playmaker Santi Cazorla, and to a certain extent Jack Wilshere to make things happen. If that pair don’t play well Arsenal seem to struggle to win.
Cazorla has at times looked tired in recent months and Jack Wilshere is now facing up to three weeks on the sidelines with an ankle injury he picked up in the north London derby against Tottenham.
The prospect of having to go to the Allianz Arena and trying to score the necessary three goals to progress is a daunting one. That would be difficult enough, but the Gunners will also have to stop the home side from scoring.
An Arsenal comeback looks very unlikely. Wenger’s men have given themselves far too much to do against one of the best teams in European football. Should Arsenal complete the comeback then it may just one of Arsene Wengers’ biggest achievements as the Gunner’s boss.
Can Arsenal rescue their Champions League campaign this evening?